Winch Dilemma – Recommendations/Opinions sought

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Jun 20, 2004
Round Rock, TX
First, let me share some background with you. I have a ’99 UZJ100 running a custom front bumper, a 4x4Labs rear bumper, sliders, OEM steel wheels, 285s, two spare tires, a roof rack with extra fuel/water. It’s a heavy pig that got heavier with all the armor. I also have a horizontally-mounted Warn M10000 (almost the same dimensions as the Warn M12000 but with different gearing) winch that I bought new in ’98 and I just refurbished last year, that I was planning on installing on my Cruiser. But I’ve encountered questions around the mounting that are making me hesitate. The custom bumper is designed to mount the winch horizontally, bolted to the top of the center plate, feet down. But I’m being told (and Warn strongly suggested the same) that the M10000 has to be mounted to the front of the bumper, feet forward. The winch “cradle” on my bumper is big enough to mount pretty much any horizontally-mounted winch, but it does not have the provisions to install the winch feet forward. As I see it, my options are:

1. Mount the M10000 on the current bumper, feet down, and just “wing it”
2. Trade the M10000 for a Warn M8000 or 9000-series model that can be mounted feet down (any suggestions)?
3. Sell the M10000 and buy a M8000 or 9000-series model that can be mounted feet down (any suggestions)?
4. Trade/Sell the M10000 for a *US-MADE* horizontally-mounted Superwinch or Ramsey winch of the right dimension/size (any suggestions?)

I’m leaning towards the first option, not only because the winch is completely refurbished and I know its history, but because its value on the used market is pretty weak and I wasn’t planning on spending more money on winches. I’ve already bought synthetic rope for it, so it’s lighter, but it’s still a heavy winch for the IFS on the UZJ100, I’m thinking a lighter winch might be a better options.

The *US-made only* clause is absolutely non-negotiable, I’ve been in situations a half-dozen times where a winch actually saved lives, and I’m not putting mine or anyone else’s at risk by trusting some cheaply-made Chinese winch. I have owned Superwinch and Warn winches in the past and I am most comfortable with Warn (especially after refurbishing mine, their customer service and parts support is awesome), but would also consider Ramsey.

What’s the collective wisdom out there?

Thanks in advance!

Check out the Overland Journal 2009 gear guide if you want to see what happens when a winch is mounted DIFFERENT from the manufacturers specs. There apparently is a reason they suggest what they do
I considered that, but I think I'll run into clearance issues. It's definitely an option, though, a gussetted L-bracket to reinforce the mounting.

Maybe use some plate and angle iron....two ideas below. The lower one uses big angle irons that you cut to fit the profile of the front of the bumper.
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